‘I said stop’: Ottawa woman accuses Hedley singer Jacob Hoggard of rape
She imagined a romantic tryst with a rock star in a fancy hotel; what she got instead, says an Ottawa woman, was pain, shame and recurring nightmares.
The relationship between the 24-year-old, petite blond and Jacob Hoggard, the frontman for Canadian rock band Hedley, began in the fall of 2016 with a surprise Tinder swipe in the nation’s capital. She says it developed into daily Snapchat flirtations before ending two weeks later in a Toronto hotel room, where, she says, the singer raped her and sent her away crying uncontrollably.
Hoggard denies the allegation and says the pair had consensual sex in his hotel room.
The woman says she decided to share her story with CBC after drawing courage from the dozens of mainly anonymous women who have spoken out on social media about alleged negative experiences with the B.C. band.
The attention those allegations have drawn prompted Hedley’s management to drop the group, which has also been blacklisted by several radio stations, including CBC. Last Monday, the band withdrew from consideration for this year’s Juno awards.
CBC is not identifying the Ottawa woman to protect her privacy and because revealing her identity could make her a target on social media.
The woman claims what Hoggard did to her was more than sexual misconduct. She says it was sexual assault. But she did not file a police complaint.
“I didn’t want people to know who I was and associate myself with being the girl that was raped by the singer of Hedley,” she says. “I didn’t want to be that person. And I also thought that because I went there [to see him] nothing would come of it because it was my own fault.”
‘At no time did Jacob act badly’: lawyer
A statement from Hoggard’s lawyer says the singer is very sorry the woman is upset, “but that does not change the fact that they made a mutual plan to get together to have sex and they did just that.”
It says they spent the afternoon together and had consensual sex, and she went back to Ottawa that same day.
“At no time did Jacob act badly or do anything without [her] consent,” the statement says.
But the woman disputes Hoggard’s definition of consent.
“Even if I agreed to have sex before I got there doesn’t mean when I’m there he can do whatever he wants to me,” she said. “I feel up until the moment you’re about to have sex with someone, you’re allowed to say no and change your mind.”
The woman was an Algonquin College student when she first communicated with Hoggard, 33, in November 2016. She was a volunteer at the WE Day concert in Ottawa, where Hoggard, described as a “WE Day super ambassador,” performed. During the event, she says, Hoggard communicated with her through Snapchat, a social media app that allows users to send texts, photos and videos that disappear after they are opened. She says she was too shy to meet with him that day.